Fibrotic Lung Disease

What is Fibrotic Lung Disease?

Fibrotic Lung Disease

Fibrosis means deposition of abnormal scar tissue in organs usually in response to an injury and is referred to as Fibrotic Lung Disease.  This can be due to inhalation of toxic substances or dust.  It can be caused by some medications and sometimes no cause can be identified.

The long list of causes of fibrosis includes dusts such as asbestos and silica, exposure to inhaled proteins such as in bird keepers, farmer’s mouldy hay, or exposure to proteins from various occupations.

There is also a long list of drugs which can cause fibrosis and these drugs usually are taken over months to years. They include long term antibiotics such as Nitrofurantoin, cancer and rheumatic drugs such as Methotrexate or Cyclophosphamide, cardiac drugs such and Amiodarone, and even Statin cholesterol lowering tablets may cause pulmonary fibrosis.

Once fibrous tissue is deposited in tissues it is difficult to remove it. The aim of treatment in pulmonary fibrosis patients is to slow progression of the disease process.

There are 2 new drugs capable of slowing down the rate of fibrosis in lung tissue. They are Nintedanib and Pirfenidone. Both are very potent and have been shown to slow down the rate of decline in lung function over time. Both these drugs have potential side effects